Taft Jack Boot Review: Why Yes, I Do Look Good in These

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by  William Barton | Last Updated: 
Taft Jack Boot Review Product Shot on Blank Background

Taft Jack boots are flashy and unique, but all too often with digital brands, style can be a cover-up for poor quality. After all, if you’re dropping nearly three-hundo, you expect some longevity. Our Taft Jack boot review covers everything from material quality, to durability, to comfort, so you can decide whether this dress boot is right for you.

Warning: Heads will turn

Taft Jack

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Bottom line: Either the Taft Jack boot speaks to you, or it doesn’t. The material quality is excellent, and the construction is on par with what you’d find in any high-quality dress boot. But with such a distinctive boot, it’s awesome as part of a collection, though it’s not quite your “everyday” stomper.

Ratings:

At a Glance Feature Image/Icon  Design At a Glance Feature Image/Icon At a Glance Feature Image/Icon At a Glance Feature Image/Icon At a Glance Feature Image/Icon At a Glance Feature Image/Icon
At a Glance Feature Image/Icon  Quality of Materials At a Glance Feature Image/Icon At a Glance Feature Image/Icon At a Glance Feature Image/Icon At a Glance Feature Image/Icon At a Glance Feature Image/Icon
At a Glance Feature Image/Icon  Craftsmanship At a Glance Feature Image/Icon At a Glance Feature Image/Icon At a Glance Feature Image/Icon At a Glance Feature Image/Icon At a Glance Feature Image/Icon
At a Glance Feature Image/Icon  Fit & Sizing At a Glance Feature Image/Icon At a Glance Feature Image/Icon At a Glance Feature Image/Icon At a Glance Feature Image/Icon At a Glance Feature Image/Icon
At a Glance Feature Image/Icon  Value for Money At a Glance Feature Image/Icon At a Glance Feature Image/Icon At a Glance Feature Image/Icon At a Glance Feature Image/Icon At a Glance Feature Image/Icon

Pros:

  • The material quality is top-notch---excellent vegetable tanned full grain leather and either wool or impeccably embroidered jacquard cotton
  • Natural full grain leather lining adds a layer of durability, comfort, and weather resistance
  • Blake stitched construction is flexible, compact, and low profile, which is perfect for a dress boot
  • Super distinctive style that I’ve never seen elsewhere (other than cheap copies)
  • Free shipping and exchanges in the US

Cons:

  • Only comes in full sizes on the short and long end of the spectrum

There comes a time in every boot-man’s life when he finally has one pair of brown boots too many. 

Ah, who am I kidding? That’ll never happen.

Still, I was hungry for something a little more unique than your standard brown service boot, and I came across the Taft Jack—the brand’s most popular style. 

Boots made with wool? Sure, I’ll give it the old college try. 

I picked up a pair for myself, and after wearing these around for several weeks, my thoughts on these are already pretty clear. 

Taft Jack Boot Overview

Taft Jack boot on black background

The Jack is Taft’s most popular boot, and it’s basically synonymous with the brand. Most versions are made with a raw wool upper, with a full grain leather toe cap and heel. 

The iconic version is the deep grey wool with oxblood leather. 

It looks straight out of the roaring 20s.

Taft manufactures their boots in Spain and Portugal, which are famous for their Blake stitched dress shoes (whereas the USA is certainly more Goodyear welt-focused, and Italy is a bit of a switch-hitter). 

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The Jack can be resoled if needed, and the full grain leather lining makes it somewhat weather resistant, though I put it in the “dress boot” category, which I’d never wear out in inclement weather. 

While the wool versions of the Jack Boot are the most popular, I couldn’t pass up the Eden colorway, which is actually a cotton jacquard weave with a raised floral pattern.

Taft Jack boot jacquard stiching closeup

I mean, c’mon. Look at that boot. 

Things to Consider Before Buying the Taft Jack Boot

model walking in Taft Jack boot

Regardless of which color option you choose (whether it’s wool or the embroidered version I have), the biggest consideration is your collection of footwear. 

I don’t believe that the Taft Jack is the most versatile boot out there. It’s far from it. While I love how unique it is, I can’t see myself wearing a floral embroidered boot every day (nor could I see the same for the wool versions). 

So if you have a decent footwear collection that has solid basics like a brown boot, black dress shoes, a few sneakers, etc., then go crazy and get whichever Jack Boot that speaks to you. 

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For me, I knew I’d likely only be wearing my Jack a few times per month (but I also have a stupid-large boot collection—occupational hazard). So I felt free to pick up the color option I knew would look absolutely killer in a few outfits. 

But your situation might be different. If you need a more versatile boot as your main get-around, you might enjoy the Taft Dragon a bit more. 

In short, the Dragon still has a lot of Taft’s unique brand DNA, but it’s more subtle and stitched into the fine details. I think the Dragon is a better choice if you have limited footwear options. 

But if you’ve already got a solid collection of four or five pairs of shoes/ boots, then cut free and go for it. 

Taft Jack Boot Review

First Impression

taft jack boot

As I mentioned, I picked up the Eden colorway, which is a bit different than what most people think of when they think of Taft boots. The leather quality and construction is all the same, but the upper material and sole is a bit different, so I’ll be sure to cover both in this review.

Taft does an excellent job of presenting their boots. This is now my second experience with Taft (I picked up their Dragon boots earlier), and I’ve really enjoyed everything from the customer service to the unboxing. 

The Jack comes with a nifty plastic shoe horn and two separate dust jackets for the boots. 

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As for the style, I have to admit that I wasn’t a huge fan of the Jack the first several times I saw it online. I didn’t have anything against it, but I’m just more into traditional boots. 

So I was sort of shocked when I found myself drawn to the woven gold and copper floral pattern of the Jack Eden. 

And when I first opened the box, my thought was, these are sweet. 

The Jack has a low profile, a slim toe-box, and is, beside the loud fabric, a fairly standard dress boot. The instep lays flat, so it works well with slim jeans and trousers—it easily works with a suit. 

Leather Quality and Care

model tying Taft Jack boot

There’s more leather than meets the eye on this boot—the toe-cap, the heel, and the entire lining.

Both the toe cap and heel are made with the same vegetable tanned Italian full grain leather, which is about as good as it gets from a quality perspective. It’s not very thick, which is fine for this dressier style. I prefer the slimmer profile to a thicker, hardier leather, because I won’t be wearing my Jack Boots for a mid-winter hike through the woods any time soon. 

The boot is fully lined with natural vegetable tanned full grain leather, too, which is crucial for added durability. It also gives this boot a luxury feel to it with regard to comfort. The lining is useful if you ever get caught in the rain, as it should mostly keep your feet dry. 

Taft Jack leather lined insole

I wouldn’t stomp through a shallow stream in these, but I also wouldn’t worry about ruining these boots if there was a sudden downpour and I had to cross through the parking lot to get to my car. 

The star of the show is the “alternative” fabric, though. For the Eden, that’s the cotton jacquard weave. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but it both looks and feel really nice. The weave has a lot of texture in it, which keeps this boot from looking cheap. Also, the thread has a beautiful lustre to it, which really helps the floral pattern pop. 

The black backdrop is also fairly glossy, and I’m super glad I picked the Eden option. It’s better looking than I expected, and the quality of the fabric shines through. 

I’ll be caring for the leather with Saphir Renovateur or Venetian Shoe Cream. Saphir is more expensive, but it boosts the shine of the leather, and since there’s very little leather, I won’t need to use much. But Venetian is nearly as good and it costs less than half the price, so you can’t go wrong there either. 

For any wool Jack Boots, you can use a wool cleaner, and for the cotton jacquard, I’ll be using a fabric cleaner I keep on hand for when my dog barfs on the carpet. You know how it goes.  

Sole

Taft Jack leather and rubber stud sole detail

Depending on which Jack Boot color you choose, you’ll either get a full rubber lug sole, a leather sole with rubber lugs embedded in it, or a Vibram heavy lug sole.

The sole of the Eden Jack Boot is leather with embedded rubber lugs, which I prefer as it’s more on the dressy side compared to full rubber soles. 

The insole is vegetable tanned full grain leather and is surprisingly soft and shock absorbent. The midsole is natural leather all the way through, which suggests it should continue to break in nicely and the footbed will have excellent longevity. 

Because the boot is Blake stitched, there’s a bit less material, but everything in the construction points to a long-lasting and durable shoe. 

The heel has a rubber cut out, and I’m a fan of the added abrasion resistance this lends. Oddly enough, the Jack has a wooden shank for arch support, and while I normally see steel or composite shanks, the wood has been holding up just as well for mid-foot support. 

There is one downside to the leather sole, and it’s that you need to be careful not to wear it out when it’s wet as the leather can absorb the water and fall apart relatively quickly. Again, I never was under the impression that the Jack would be my go-to wet-weather boot, but it’s something worth considering. 

Fit and Sizing

Taft Jack boot on foot with cuffed denim

Taft has been expanding their sizing options and now offer the Jack Boot in limited half-sizes (from 8-11) in their more popular boots. 

However, for certain colors, like the Eden Noir, you can only find full sizes. 

My sneaker size is a 10.5, but Taft boots run a bit large—similar to what you’d find with Red Wing, Wolverine, etc. So I picked up a size 10, and they fit really well. 

Taft offers free shipping and exchanges, so if you find the size you picked just doesn’t work for you, the exchange process is really simple and easy. Plus, their customer service is on point, so they’ll make sure you get the right size on the second go. 

Break-in Period

Taft Jack boot while walking

The combined cotton upper and lightweight Blake stitch construction make for a practically non-existent break-in period

You may encounter a small blister from the vegetable tanned leather lining, but that wasn’t my experience. 

I was also pleasantly surprised at how much cushion there is in the footbed. For an all-leather footbed and midsole, I expected these boots to cause at least a little soreness in the balls of my feet for a few days, but they just didn’t. 

Taft Jack Boot

Either the Taft Jack Boot speaks to you, or it doesn’t. The material quality is excellent, and the construction is on par with what you’d find in any high-quality dress boot. But with such a distinctive boot, it’s awesome as part of a collection, though it’s not quite your “everyday” stomper.

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What do Other Reviewers Say?

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The Jack Boot has hundreds of reviews on the Taft site, and they’re overwhelmingly positive. 

Many reviewers were impressed with how many compliments they were getting on their new boots, and while that’s not something I usually pay much attention to, the Taft Jack is an exception: you really will get all sort of people commenting on your boots—strangers on the bus, old ladies in the airport. So I hope you’re up for that. 

Taft Jack Boot Alternatives

Quite honestly, there’s not much else that compares with the Taft Jack Boot. It’s in a class of its own with the wool/ cotton upper. 

But if you’re looking for something a bit more “traditional,” here are two good options:

Taft Dragon

Taft Dragon Boots closeup on upper

The Taft Dragon is closer to your traditional service boot, but still has a lot of Taft’s signature attention to detail and quality materials. 

The leather on the Dragon is beastly and takes a long time to break in, but it’s also Goodyear welted and waterproof, so you’re getting more durability. 

I’d pick the Dragon over the Jack for an “everyday” sort of boot. But like I said, the Jack is in a class of its own, and you can’t get that same style anywhere else. 

Taft Dragon 3.0

The waxed suede upper and close fit through the ankle give the Taft Dragon a distinctive style, and while it’s a bit pricey for a direct-to-consumer brand, there’s no denying the overall build quality of this boot.

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Thursday Captain

Thursday and Red Wing 32

Coming in at under $200, the Thursday Captain is another slim cap-toe service boot. The material quality and finishing doesn’t match the Dragon, but the price to quality ratio makes it one of the best values in the boot-world. 

Like the Dragon, I’d pick the Captain over the Jack for everyday wear. With a Goodyear welt and a thick full grain leather upper, it’s built to take more punishment. 

But on the flip side, there’s no version of the Captain that has gold and copper flowers. And sometimes you just want gold and copper flowers on your boots. 

Thursday Captain

The Thursday Captain is an excellent deal. Made with Thursday's Chrome leather from Le Farc tannery (often compared to Horween Chromexcel), these boots are still holding up well after four years of wear. When (if?) these ever wear out, I’ll be getting them again.

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My Thoughts Overall On the Taft Jack Boot

What I Like

  • Vegetable tanned full grain leather and either natural wool or cotton jacquard weave fabrics make for excellent material quality, whichever color you choose. 

  • The natural full grain leather lining adds weather resistance, durability, and a touch of high-class comfort to the Jack. 

  • Because the Jack is Blake stitched, it’s flexible, compact, and maintains a low profile, which is exactly what you want in a dress boot. 

  • I’ve never seen another boot like the Jack—it’s completely unique. 

  • Free shipping and exchanges in the USA make this a risk-free try. 

What I Don’t Like

  • Not every color option has half-sizes available, nor is there any EE/EEE width option.

Who is the Taft Jack for?

The Taft Jack Boot is a fantastic choice for you if you’ve got at least your basic footwear staples down and you’re looking to add a signature piece that you bust out when you’re looking to step your style game up. If you don’t have a basic everyday brown boot yet, maybe start there. But if you’ve got that base covered, you’re free to have fun with the Jack.

The Verdict

There’s no doubt that the Taft Jack Boot is unique. 

As for material quality and construction, the Jack is on par with what I’d expect from anything over $250, though I’d say the full grain leather lining is actually a step up (I’d want it in any boot over $300 for sure, so I’m happy it’s in the Jack). 

I don’t recommend the Jack as an “everyday” boot. Because it’s so distinctive, and the construction style is closer to a dress boot than a service boot, I’m not positive it has the sort of rugged durability I want from an everyday city stomper. 

But as a proverbial dagger in your footwear collection, the Taft Jack is sure to draw looks, compliments, and elevate your wardrobe. 

I’m really happy with my Jack Edens. The cotton jacquard weave looks incredible, and the boots are plenty comfortable to wear and walk around in for a full day. 

If you’re in the market for a boot that doesn’t just compliment an outfit, but makes an outfit, the Taft Jack is your boot.

Taft Jack Boot

Either the Taft Jack Boot speaks to you, or it doesn’t. The material quality is excellent, and the construction is on par with what you’d find in any high-quality dress boot. But with such a distinctive boot, it’s awesome as part of a collection, though it’s not quite your “everyday” stomper.

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FAQs

Are Taft boots sold in stores?

Taft boots are currently only sold online. They offer free shipping and exchanges in the US, so shopping online with them is easy.

Is the Taft Jack boot waterproof?

The Taft Jack Boot isn’t waterproof. But with a leather lining, it should keep your feet dry if you get caught briefly in a downpour. Water won’t ruin these boots, but I wouldn’t wade through a river in them.

Do Taft boots run big?

Taft boots run about a half-size larger than average sneakers. So if you’re a size 11.5 sneaker, for instance, order your Taft boots in size 11.

3 Things Every Boot Wearer Should Own

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